News24

Bertish wins at Mavericks

2010-02-15 13:40

California - After a historic day of big wave surfing, Cape Town surfer Chris Bertish emerged victorious at the 2009/10 Mavericks Surf Contest.

Held in wild waves that many were calling 40-foot and more, Chris put his head down and paddled into a series of giant waves to take the win from a bunch of dedicated international big wave surfers.

The total prize pool for the event was a staggering $150 000, which was the largest in big wave surfing to date, and Chris took home a sweet $50 000 for his first place prize. Chris flew 36 hours to get to the event on time, gambling that the event would run and that the waves and conditions would be good enough for the contest director to give the go ahead.

Bertish is part of the O'Neill South Africa surf team, and also works as the Western Cape sales agent for O'Neill South Africa. Chris is a former finalist in the Red Bull Big Wave Africa, and his most recent results was a third place at the Nelscott Reef Paddle In Event.

Paul Canning from O'Neill South Africa was really pleased on hearing the news. "We at O'Neill South Africa are really stoked for Chris," he said.

"I know that this has been a dream of his for a long time, and he has put a lot of hard work and effort into his big wave surfing over the year. Chris is really passionate about big-wave surfing and the brand, and he really stands for what O'Neill is all about."

The waves for the event were big, unruly monsters, some of them up to 40-foot. There were mentions of 60-foot waves rolling through but with no one able to catch them. Mavericks is a heavy big wave spot, and competitors all agreed that these were some of the biggest paddle-in waves that they had ever surfed. Some heavy wipe-outs, scary situations and blood pouring from the mouth of competitor Zach Wormhoudt after one nasty fall added to the excitement. Even winner Bertish took his fair share of the knocks out there, getting caught by one monster set. "I took the worst beating of my life out there," said Chris in a post-event interview.

The inimitable Bertish had a wild ride this year just getting to the event, which included some self-generated fund-raising, and a few broken ribs, all of which he overcame en route to this amazing victory and the massive first prize cheque.

"It was an honour just to be here today and paddle out with these guys," said an emotional Bertish on his win. "I flew 36 hours to be here, and this has been a dream come true."

There were an estimated 50 000 spectators lining the cliffs at Half Moon Bay to witness this unique event and his memorable victory.


Chris Bertish on his way to victory (File)

Sport24

Comments
  • Jacque - 2010-02-15 14:19

    Congrats Chris, Good to see the south african's on the forefront of big wave surfing!

  • Gareth - 2010-02-15 15:36

    Well Done Chris!!!

  • easye - 2010-02-15 21:51

    Nice pics.... Load up more with some video!!! Almost could not find this article on your site!!!

  • Antony Martinez - 2010-02-16 14:19

    Well done Chris!!! We here in Langebaan are so happy for you, and can't wait to congratulate you in person here soon!!! You are now the best in the world!

  • Antony Martinez - 2010-02-16 14:19

    Well done Chris!!! We here in Langebaan are so happy for you, and can't wait to congratulate you in person here soon!!! You are now the best in the world!

  • wilson - 2010-02-24 11:20

    proof of commitment. A win like that will have young surfers up at pre-dawn training for the future of the purest sport. South African `bomb surfers´are setting the parameters. Congratulations Mr.Bertish and thank-you for some good news.

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